Gennadiy Nikolayevich Seleznyov (Russian: Геннадий Николаевич Селезнёв; 6 November 1947 – 19 July 2015) was a Russian politician, the Speaker of the Duma from 1996 to 2003.
Born at Serov in Sverdlovsk Oblast, Gennadiy Seleznyov went to school from 1954 to 1964. He went to study journalism and joined the communist party. In 1969 he finished university and started working for the Pravda newspaper. After the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was outlawed in 1991 Seleznyov quit it. In 1993, however, he joined the Communist Party of the Russian Federation led by Gennadiy Zyuganov.
First term as the Speaker of the Duma
In the 1995 Parliamentary elections in Russia the Communist Party took the majority. However, Zyuganov did not become the speaker of the Duma as he was too busy with his 1996 Presidential campaign. Instead, he offered the job to his fellow communist Gennadiy Seleznyov. Seleznyov took office in 1996.
As speaker Seleznyov protested against many reforms of President Boris Yeltsin and the Party rejected several reforms like the proposed complete denationalization of land in 1998. When Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko opened the markets, Seleznyov protested saying the Russian economy wasn't ready yet. In 1999 the Communist Party once again took the largest number of seats and Seleznyov was re-inaugurated.
In 1999 Gennadiy Seleznyov also ran for governor of the Moscow Region. However, he lost to the former general and vice presidential candidate Boris Gromov
Seleznyov originally supported the new President Vladimir Putin when the latter made a majority, making an alliance with the centrists and the ultra-rightist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia. He supported Putin on most issues. When in 2001 the communists lost many seats he surprisingly did not protest. Seleznyov then said that the Communist Party had to adapt to the new generation and to adopt liberal social values creating a Eurocommunist party. However, party leader Gennadiy Zyuganov dismissed such calls and in 2002 Seleznyov was expelled from the party.
Following his expulsion, Seleznyov remained the Duma Speaker. However, he was frequently attacked by both the leftists and the rightists. He received support from former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and was considered a Social Democrat. In 2003 the party United Russia supporting President Putin took the majority in the Duma and Boris Gryzlov became the new Speaker. Seleznov stood for the Duma as the leader of a new party, the Party of Russia's Rebirth. The party did very badly although Seleznov won a single member mandate in St Petersburg, beating liberal MP Irina Khakamada.
Personal life and death
Seleznyov had a son, Kirill Seleznyov (b. 1974), who is a prominent Russian businessman and a top-manager of Gazprom. Gennadiy Seleznyov died in Moscow on 19 July 2015.
Honours and awards
- Order For Merit to the Fatherland, 2nd class
- Order of Friendship of Peoples
- Medal of Merit for the Stavropol Krai (2003)
- Order of Francesc Skarina (Belarus, 2001)
- "Person of the Year" award
- "Silver Cross" of the Russian Biographical Institute
- Gold badge of honour "Public Recognition"
- "Dove of Peace" of the International Public Foundation "World Without Wars" (Moscow)
- Academician and Member of the International Academy of Social Sciences
- Associate Professor of the Moscow University for the Humanities
- Honorary Professor of Journalism, St. Petersburg State University
- Member of the International Academy of Information Technology
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